Humorous sculpture, unsolicited suggestions for public art and whimsical prints will be featured in the latest exhibition at Lawrence University’s Wriston Art Center galleries. The three-gallery exhibition opens Jan. 20 and runs through March 12.
Lawrence Assistant Professor of Art Rob Neilson presents “A Face in Time” in the Kohler Gallery and “Unrequested Proposals” in the Hoffmaster Gallery. Neilson will open the exhibition with a discussion of his work as a sculptor and public installation artist on Friday, Jan. 20 at 6 p.m. The address is free and open to the public with a reception to follow.
“A Face in Time” will include a series of sculptural self portraits which express a humorous commentary on otherwise familiar childhood and historical faces and characters, including Ernie from “Sesame Street,” John F. Kennedy and an “Irish” Buddha.
In “Unrequested Proposals,” Neilson showcases models and computer generated images of public art monuments he has proposed — tongue-in-cheek — such as a replacement for the Washington Monument, an artistic addition to Mao Tse-tung’s tomb in Tiananmen Square and an addition for St. Peter’s Square in Vatican City.
A native of Detroit, Neilson joined the Lawrence art department in 2003. He works with a variety of materials in composing sculpture and public art, including rubber, plastics and other exotic materials. His work has been exhibited in galleries and and installations around the country. Last year Neilson installed a six-foot-tall, two-headed rubber ducky in front of Chicago’s Navy Pier.
In addition, he has received numerous public art commissions, among them works for the City of Los Angeles, the Los Angeles Metro Transit Authority and the Long Beach Transit Authority, for which will he construct a steel sculpture of a figurative male stepping onto a bus while holding an armload of books. The sculpture will be erected at the transportation station in front of the Mark Twain branch of the Long Beach Public Library. Later this year, Neilson will spend five months as an artist-in-residence at the Kohler Company in Kohler.
He studied art at the College for Creative Studies and earned a master of fine arts degree from the University of North Carolina.
The Leech Gallery will host “The History of Printmaking: A Series of Prints by Warrington Colescott.” Featuring brilliant color and fantastical composition, each whimsical print in the 11-set series depicts an important event in the history of printmaking, beginning with the 15th century.
Colescott, a California transplant who taught art at the University of Wisconsin-Madison for nearly 40 years, began the “History of Printmaking” series in the late 1970s and continued to work on it through the early 1980s. The 11 prints in the exhibit are part of the Wriston Art Gallery Permanent Collection and were donated by Dr. Robert A. Dickens, ‘63.
Wriston Art Center hours are Tuesday-Friday from 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m., Saturday-Sunday from noon -4:00 p.m. The gallery is closed on Mondays. For more information, call 920-832-6621 or visit http://www.lawrence.edu/news/wriston/.